Spring arrives. bringing plenty of lazy rainy afternoons along with it. Everything seems to move a little slower, and things seem to resonate more when the skies open up.
Whether you need your “Umbrella” to venture to the market or need a song to sing while it pours, there is likely a song that fits your rainy day vibe. So, in this article about songs, we’ve assembled 21 Songs About Rain for Rainy Days.
- 1. Purple Rain – Prince
- 2. Umbrella – Rihanna
- 3. Singing in the Rain – Gene Kelly
- 4. Have You Ever Seen The Rain? – Creedence Clearwater Revival
- 5. Set Fire to the Rain – Adele
- 6. Rain – The Beatles
- 7. No Rain – Blind Melon
- 8. The Rain Song – Led Zeppelin
- 9. Rain on Me – Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande
- 10. November Rain – Guns N’ Roses
- 11. Fire and Rain – James Taylor (or Me First and the Gimme Gimmies)
- 12. The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly) – Missy Elliot
- 13. Only Happy When It Rains – Garbage
- 14. When it Rains, it Pours – Luke Combs
- 15. I Love a Rainy Night – Eddie Rabbit
- 16. I Wish it Would Rain – The Temptations
- 17. A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall – Bob Dylan
- 18. I’ll Be There for You – The Rembrandts
- 19. Talking Dust Bowl Blues – Woody Guthrie
- 20. Raining Blood – Slayer
- 21. It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls
1. Purple Rain – Prince
As if there was any other choice for number 1 on this list! “Purple Rain” lends its title to an album and movie that only artists like Prince have the audacity and vision to create.
As Prince and his band performed during the 2010 Super Bowl halftime show, the skies opened as they played “Purple Rain” in the rain.
“Purple Rain” is about being in the end times or judgment day with those you love, letting God guide you through the Purple Rain, as blue skies mix with blood turning the sky purple.
The guitars are fabulously chorused 80s style and “Purple Rain” features one of Prince’s legendary moments of guitar heroics on one of his brilliant songs. On your next long rainy drive, warm up those vocal cords and let Prince guide you through the Purple Rain.
2. Umbrella – Rihanna
A song that opens with Jay-Z is bound to get your attention. A song with a hook this catchy and memorable is going to keep your attention.
“Umbrella” was originally written with Britney Spears in mind as the performer, however, Spears’ record label decided the song wasn’t to their liking.
The play count on the official “Umbrella” YouTube video, as of this writing, is over 794 million plays. If you start counting other videos, streaming services, and traditional radio, the number of times that someone has pressed play on “Umbrella” is staggering.
“Umbrella” uses the umbrella as a metaphorical prop to remind the singer’s partner in crime that “when the sun shines, we shine together” but when it rains – when bad times seem to relentlessly pour – they will always have a spot under their protection.
They will always have a safe place from the rain under their umbrella, ella, ella, eh, eh, eh.
3. Singing in the Rain – Gene Kelly
A song to sing when the rainstorms of life are flooding your decks and getting you down.
A song to sing with the family as you jump from puddle to puddle causing bigger ripples than the raindrops falling from the sky.
It’s simple, joyous, and you likely know much of it already. “Singing in the Rain” is the second song on this list about the rain that shares its name with a legendary movie.
The song itself has an unusual structure and a 32-bar chorus and is considered among the most legendary moments of songs in cinema.
The next time the rain pours and you have an umbrella in hand, feel free to channel your inner Gene Kelly singing and dancing from puddle to puddle.
4. Have You Ever Seen The Rain? – Creedence Clearwater Revival
The sounds of Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR) are synonymous with films about the late 1960s.
Although people have different interpretations of John Fogerty’s lyrics and metaphorical use of rain, many are influenced by Creedence’s reputation and association with Vietnam War protests. However, “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” is not a treatise on the failures of the idealism of the 1960s or a protest song.
“Have You Ever Seen The Rain” is a song about the unprecedented loss when life seems to be at its peak. Fogerty wrote the lyrics when Creedence was experiencing rising tensions from within, leading his brother Tom to leave the band.
The real magic of the song (and John Fogerty as a songwriter) is how simple and impactful the lyrics are, yet vague enough for the listener to focus their interpretation of the song on the happenings in their life.
5. Set Fire to the Rain – Adele
Adele’s voice accompanied by a piano is a powerful combination for a song that’ll bring tears to your eyes. Especially, if you are in a reflective mood brought on by raindrops and cloudy skies.
Many of us have trusted and loved someone deeply, only for everything to fall apart a leave a mess of tears and emotions to be cleaned up. ‘Set Fire to the Rain’ is a song about a love gone wrong that seemed so right at the beginning.
Adele’s recounting of love gone wrong uses setting fire to the rain as a metaphor for gaining control of the intense feelings of lost love, burning the love-constructed image of her partner in the burning rain.
6. Rain – The Beatles
“Rain,” the B-Side to “Paperback Writer,” is a great Lennon/McCartney song created during a period of incredible songwriting by the Fab Four that produced numerous number 1 hits.
“Nowhere Man” (in the U.S.A.) and “Day Tripper”/”We Can Work It Out” (in the U.K.) was the single that preceded “Rain,” while the “Elanor Rigby”/”Yellow Submarine” single followed on both sides of the Atlantic.
The song itself features the first recording of a backward voice. According to John Lennon, “Rain” was written by himself and the song is simply about people moaning about the weather. Yet, some people find “Rain’s” meaning to be an allusion to psychedelic drugs.
Paul McCartney, on the other hand, claimed the song was a “70-30” split between John and himself and emphasized that rain isn’t as bad as songs or people present it to be.
7. No Rain – Blind Melon
“No Rain” may be more famous to a generation for the tap-dancing bee-girl and her oversized glasses than the song itself.
Although the song is performed in a major key and with an uptempo pace, “No Rain” is a song about depression. Blind Melon bassist Brad Smith takes credit for writing the majority of the song. Smith sites his girlfriend’s battle with depression and finding a way to get out of bed and face the day when, in all reality, you have nothing.
On those days when the rain pours and your life seems pretty plain and pointless, “No Rain” is bubbly enough to help get you out of bed while resonating with your experience. You may even find yourself complaining on days when there is no rain.
8. The Rain Song – Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin was a ferocious and thundering blues-inspired rock band that helped define “rock n’ roll” and “rock star.”
However, “The Rain Song” is a seven-minute ballad that shows the composition capabilities of the massive blues-rock band, that follows a path started by “Stairway to Heaven.”
In fact, Jimmy Page asserts that he wrote “The Rain Song” as a direct response to something George Harrison said to Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham. the problem with Led Zep was they never did ballads.
Jimmy Page took this as a challenge and composed “The Rain Song” at his home studio, even using the same two chords to open “The Rain Song” as the Beatles did for “Something:” a George Harrison penned hit from 1969’s Abbey Road.
9. Rain on Me – Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande
“Rain on Me” is the first all-female collaboration to top the charts at number 1.
With its house meets dance-pop beats, “Rain on Me” is about perseverance and resilience in overcoming all life sends in your direction.
The music video was directed by filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, making “Rain on Me” a star-filled affair.
Critics and award show alike showered “Rain on Me” with numerous awards, including a Grammy and an MTV Video Music Awards, while “Rain on Me” ranked as the seventh most streamed song on Spotify during the tumultuous and unprecedented summer of 2020.
10. November Rain – Guns N’ Roses
How do you follow up on the greatest debut album in music history? Guns N’ Roses believed making a sprawling double record and releasing them separately on the same day was the answer.
“November Rain” is a ballad of truly epic proportions. It features three emotive and classic guitar solos from lead guitarist Slash that help move the song through its different phases.
The music video for “November Rain” is one of the most expensive music videos ever made, taking inspiration from Del James’s “Without You,” and features Slash playing the song’s trademark leads outside of a seemingly abandoned church in the middle of nowhere.
On those dreary, reflective, rainy days get lost alone in Guns N’ Roses epic masterpiece. After all, everyone needs some time on their own.
11. Fire and Rain – James Taylor (or Me First and the Gimme Gimmies)
According to James Taylor, “Fire and Rain” has three distinct verses that speak to his life experience.
The first verse mentions Suzanne, a childhood friend who committed suicide.
The second verse speaks to Taylor’s battles with addiction.
The third verse is Taylor dealing with his rise to fame.
“Fire and Rain” is a singer-songwriter classic from Taylor and has been covered by many artists and was featured (along with Taylor himself) in season 5 of The Simpsons.
As for covers of “Fire and Rain,” check out Me First and the Gimme Gimmie’s version if you are up for a punk rock rendition of a classic.
12. The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly) – Missy Elliot
Missy Elliot’s “The Rain “relies heavily on a Timbaland-produced beat and a sample from Ann Peebles’s “I Can’t Stand The Rain.”
Lyrically, there isn’t much depth to the lyrics for the lead single from 1997’s “Supa Dupa Fly.”
Despite “The Rain” being a commercial success, critics panned the lyrical content of the song.
However, “The Rain” is more well known for the music video produced by Hype Williams, rather than the lyrical depth.
If you are not looking to be mired in the melancholy of rainy days, the refrain of “I can’t stand the rain” paired with a chill beat, might be exactly what you are looking for.
13. Only Happy When It Rains – Garbage
Guitar-based music in the early ’90s was often filled with angst, and rebellion, and danced with dark themes.
Ironically, Garbage drummer Butch Vig was responsible for producing the record that ushered in the darkness of grunge and the early 90s, Nirvana’s “Nevermind.” “Only Happy When It Rains” is a satirical take on the dark thematic approach to contemporary music.
The mixing of the vocals is a notable feature of the song. unlike most songs, Shirley Manson’s vocals on “Only Happy When It Rains” are mixed at the same level as the rest of the instruments. This gives a different, darker tone to the song, adding to the intended tongue-in-cheek intention of the song.
14. When it Rains, it Pours – Luke Combs
Many songs about rain cast rain as a bad or negative player in the story. Country Songs have traditionally followed a similar suit.
Luke Combs turns that characterization around, using the colloquialism “when it rains, it pours” to tell the story of life turning around for the positive, despite a seemingly negative event as the impetus for the rain in this song about difficult times turning around.
In the song, Combs’s relationship ends but instead of the expected struggle and heartbreak, he finds himself on a run of good fortune: scratch ticket success and a radio vacation contest win, a used four-wheeler, and passes for golf, and the attention of a Hooters server.
“When it Rains, it Pours” is a catchy song and continues to receive rotation at country and rock stations alike for its unifying theme of finding a run of fortune in the face of trying times.
Coombs demonstrates that rain doesn’t always have to be used symbolically or metaphorically with a negative connotation.
15. I Love a Rainy Night – Eddie Rabbit
Apparently, Eddie Rabbit’s country music hit “I Love a Rainy Night” was over a decade in the making.
When he sings that the thunderstorms and rain put a song in his heart, he means it. the origins of the song were written on a rainy night!
This seed of a song sat on a tape for over a decade until Rabbit rediscovered the tape and presumably his love of the rain.
“I Love a Rainy Night” will have you snapping and clapping along knowing that the rain will wash yesterday away and you’ll wake up to a sunny day.
Enjoy rainy nights with this classic tune.
16. I Wish it Would Rain – The Temptations
Heartbreak doesn’t go well with sunny days.
When the one you love has left you and you can’t show your emotions, you’ll be begging for the rain so you can let your emotions flow.
The subject and inspiration behind the song were so painful for songwriter Roger Penzabene that he committed suicide not long after the single’s release.
Written in a time when men were expected to hide their emotions, the Temptations performance of “I Wish it Would Rain” evokes not only the pain of losing a lover but not being able to express that pain.
If it would only rain, the song’s protagonist could maintain their manly pride and let their emotions flow without fear of judgment.
17. A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall – Bob Dylan
Some have claimed that Bob Dylan wrote this song in the immediate aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. This has led “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” to be characterized as a protest song.
Whether a treatise and protest of potential nuclear conflict or not, Dylan claims that the song was composed of the opening lines of songs he’d never finish. Regardless, the inspiration for the symbolism-filled “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” comes from hours spent reading old newspapers on microfiche at the public library.
In his memoir, Dylan recalls the feeling of reviewing society through microfiche as becoming aware of “a culture of feeling, of black days, of schism, evil for evil, the common destiny of the human being getting thrown off course. It’s all one long funeral song.”
The picture Dylan paints of society’s past and the potential post-nuclear society are equally dark. Rainy days are reflective days and “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” is a reflection on society’s past and present with its sight set on sending a message to the future and avoiding Atomic Rain.
18. I’ll Be There for You – The Rembrandts
On first listen, The Rembrandts’ “I’ll Be There For You” seems like a typical early 90’s pop-rock catchy tune.
It’s catchy but almost forgettable.
However, the song endures because it’s the theme song for the enduringly popular sitcom Friends. You can’t hear this song without seeing the six friends frolicking in a fountain with umbrellas.
The fact that this song is such a perfect match for the concept of the show cannot be understated. Clearly, “I’ll Be There for You” is The Rembrandts biggest song.
The song is about how when there are tough times, it’s not your month, day, or even your year, much like Rachel, Pheobe, and the rest of the Friends, it’s the rainy days where you find who’s truly there for you.
19. Talking Dust Bowl Blues – Woody Guthrie
Most of the songs on this list of Songs About Rain for Rainy Days have all metaphorically played with rain and emotions. All of the songs speak about the presence of rain in some way.
Woody Guthrie’s American Folk Song, “Talking Dust Bowl Blues,” is the exception, serving as a living testament to the environmental and historical consequences of no rain.
The Dust Bowl was an environmental catastrophe on agricultural prairies in North America during the Great Depression.
Guthrie sings of the initial highs and continual struggles of a dust bowl farm family who are leaving their former productive farm for California because the rain isn’t falling and the soil keeps eroding.
20. Raining Blood – Slayer
A list about rain would be missing something if it didn’t include something from the heavier end of the music world.
Enter Slayer’s iconic “Raining Blood.”
Opening with the sounds of storms and feedbacking guitars, followed by a harmonized riff in the key of evil, Slayer build and gallop their way into one of the most iconic and chaotic songs in metal history.
The song lyrics tell the story of a soul cast out of heaven waiting to seek vengeance on heaven and destroy it in the process. The blood of the angels of heaven will fall as rain, creating the structure for the vanquished soul to reign in blood.
The metaphorical use of rain in music has never been so monstrously evil. “Raining Blood” might not be a “catchy tune” but it is a classic tune nonetheless.
Music and artists evolve but one thing has remained metal to its core: SLAYER! “Raining Blood”
21. It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls
Need I say more?
This list of songs about rain wouldn’t be complete without this classic song.